Even after over fifty years, some fans tell stories about how William Shatner got his iconic role.
William Shatner began playing Captain James T. Kirk onscreen in1966 when Star Trek: The Original Series premiered. He took over the role after Jeffrey Hunter chose not to return for a revamped pilot episode when NBC passed on “The Cage.”
It was unheard of at the time for a series to be given a second chance at a first impression, but after a tough decision as to who would wear the mantle of Captain James T. Kirk, (Gene Roddenberry wanted Jack Lord, but he wanted 50% of the profits, according to Heroes and Icons.) Shatner was chosen to play the charismatic character. And it didn’t have anything to do with someone’s grandmother’s cousin’s best friend putting in a good word for him.
William Shatner was quick to respond to a fan’s most recent story about how his success came to be.
Recently, on Twitter, a fan posted about his wife’s late uncle, Mark Miller, who shared a story that he and his partner, George Nader, had encountered Shatner in London and told him he should go back to the United States and audition for that “space opera.” And thus began Shatner’s career, according to an article by Express.
Shatner responded on his own Twitter account, assuring the fan that that story, as well as many others that claimed to be the reason he’d been cast as Captain Kirk, were science fiction. In this particular scenario, Shatner questioned not only the story but the place as he didn’t know why he would have been in London.
The tweet received over 73,000 views, with many fans commenting in jest that they were the reason Shatner had gotten the part. Suffice it to say, the actor has confirmed that none of them are the reason. Honestly, does it really even matter how or why he got the part? It’s enough that he took the role and gave us Captain James T. Kirk.